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On the Safety of Fixed Offshore Structures, Failure Paths and Barriers

[+] Author Affiliations
Gerhard Ersdal

Stavanger University College, Stavanger, Norway

Paper No. OMAE2002-28609, pp. 699-705; 7 pages
  • ASME 2002 21st International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering
  • 21st International Conference on Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering, Volume 2
  • Oslo, Norway, June 23–28, 2002
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore, and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-3612-6 | eISBN: 0-7918-3599-5
  • Copyright © 2002 by ASME


In order to ensure the safety of an offshore structure it is important to identify and maintain the barriers preventing hazardous events. Also, when monitoring the safety, the monitoring should be regarding how well these barriers are functioning, and utilise these to reassess the safety of the structure over time. The purpose of this paper is to apply a well-known method in risk assessment, Haddon’s energy and barrier model, to a new area; structural safety. The purposes of this exercise are to look at the structural safety from a risk assessment point of view, and to use this to identify and give an overview of the existing barriers. Furthermore, the purposes are to evaluate the efficiency and redundancy of these barriers, and to use this to evaluate the safety of offshore structures. This paper will analyse the safety of a fixed offshore structure through a qualitative approach. A possible event chart for a fixed offshore installation during operation in storms is established and analysed. Some of the root causes for potential structural failure are identified. These root-causes are kept on a general level, but considered in more detail than often seen in risk analysis. Hazards that are normally included in risk analysis, like boat collisions, fire, explosions, and dropped objects are not evaluated. Hazards that are evaluated are structural failure due to wave loading, fatigue damage, aging, and gross errors in design, fabrication, installation and operation. In order to identify the barriers (hazard reduction strategies, physical barriers and vulnerable target protection strategies), the different failure paths in the event chart are then analysed using Haddon’s ten preventive strategies for reducing damage from hazards. As an example a fixed offshore steel structure is used. A list of proposed barriers that influence the safety of such a fixed offshore installation are presented, and methods to measure these barriers are discussed.

Copyright © 2002 by ASME



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